Each month our talented team of designers dreams up a new collection. Here we chat with our fashion director, Lizz, about the inspiration behind the featured looks, and she picks out a few of her faves.
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind this collection.
For the December collection, we imagined an independent young woman in the 1920s running away to join the circus and becoming the ringmistress! We looked to early era of circuses, when there was a sense of adventure and independence. The design team is made up of animal lovers, so we aren’t really sad about contemporary circuses ending, so this is definitely a more idealized view of a circus: color, stripes, fantastic circus prints.
Do you think women today have anything in common with flappers of the 1920s?
Absolutely! Flappers were going against what society had deemed acceptable, and they were pushing for more rights and freedom from society (not just waiting to get married or dress a certain way, pursuing sexual freedom, and advocating for birth control) as well as from the government (voting and prohibition). Today more and more women are speaking up against the constant societal, personal, and governmental aggressions we face every day. Unlike the 1920s, women are also working to make sure we are advocating with/for and seeing ALL women: we need to do this together. Something that is really exciting to me is that more and more women are running for office right now, something that was less of a possibility in the 1920s, but something I think flappers would definitely toast.
What are your favorite pieces from the collection, and why?
I love this chiffon tie neck dress in my favorite hand-drawn circus print. The colors and print are super vivid but because it’s chiffon it’s a super wearable but striking dress. You could wear this to work for a particularly ‘cray’ day, to your kid’s birthday party or out to get a drink. It’s going in my cart!
I adore this junk-food dress because popcorn is a food group.
This striped bear-clown sweater is adorable, and I really like how the colors are wearable now but go into spring.
This is my favorite party dress: super simple, swingy, vintage-inspired and sophisticated! It’s made of a high quality crepe fabric and has a really great fit. This one is a bit of secret weapon in your closet: it adds instant polish to your look.
What’s your creative process like from start to finish?
It’s never finished! The design team and I are always open to and looking for inspiration for the seasons ahead. I read a ton and am always learning more about certain time periods and interesting and inspirational women. We do a ton of vintage research and vintage shopping, and the design team has also been lucky enough to visit the FIDM archives. We work together as a team to pull together the concepts that we’re interested in, and we also travel to find new fabrics and techniques to bring beautiful new pieces to life for the ModCloth collections.
Who’s your favorite fashion icon from the ‘20s?
Dorothy Parker because of her acerbic wit and commitment to activism.
Mary Pickford, because in addition to being a huge silent movie star she also cofounded United Artists Agency, which totally disrupted the industry at the time, and championed artists. The United Artist’s building is now LA’s ACE hotel, which the design team can see from our office.
Josephine Baker, whose style was insane (BANANA dress?!). She lived life to the fullest, pushed boundaries, fought for civil rights AND was in the French Resistance (#badass).
+ What’s your favorite piece in the collection? Comment below!